#1
Hi guys,
I'm working on getting a rehearsal studio opended and am at the stage were I'm trying to work out what guitar amps to purchase and I would love to hear some opinions.

I wanted to offer some choice as we all know how hard it is to cater for everyones tastes. At the same time I know many guys prefer to use their own amps anyway so wasn't going to spend a fortune either (dont have the money anyway! )

I have a budget of around £200-350 / $350-450 / €300-400 per amp but may spend more on some than others.

Was thinking of getting 3 types:

A. Solid state 2x10 combo thats a good all rounder and not too expensive like a Fender FM212R.

B. Something more like a valve amp or bluesy like a Vox AC15 or a Epiphone 30w

C. Something with a few FX built in or a modeller - Line6 Spider III 210 or a Marshall MG250DFX

As a guitarist, would you be happy with this selection if you weren't bringing your own? Do you have other suggestions on amps or type of choices?
Reliability will be a big issue for me too.

Any comments greatly appreciated!
#2
well... A valve amp is usually the way to go. However, IF you really want to cater to a lot of tastes, a Line 6 Flextone is a great way to go.
#3
i would get , B and C a is not really necessary ...
what about bass amp?
PA system?
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#4
Quote by Highwaytohell
well... A valve amp is usually the way to go. However, IF you really want to cater to a lot of tastes, a Line 6 Flextone is a great way to go.


Thanks, I actually have a flextone III myself! I was just concerned a little about reliability and also the learning curve it takes to figure out how to get the right tone.


Quote by Serjem
i would get , B and C a is not really necessary ...
what about bass amp?
PA system?


Thanks. You don't think A is necessary. It was my cheaper alternative! That was the main reason but i know what you mean.
I have the PA's already.
I'm looking for bass amps too. around the same budget. 2 types I think. A 1x15 and a 2x10. Debating Fender bassman/ GK backline 210/ AMPEG BA115T etc but would welcome suggestions!

Thanks guys.
Last edited by cmail at Jan 16, 2009,
#5
I'd ditch A, get a nice tube combo and spend whatever you have left over on a modelling amp.
#6
Quote by lewis_grey
I'd ditch A, get a nice tube combo and spend whatever you have left over on a modelling amp.


I'd love to get some nice tube combos but not sure if i can afford many. Have 8 rooms!
Not sure yet if that means I'm buying 16 amps. More likely around 10-12 so I have 1 per room and a few extra for those who want to hire a 2nd.

Do you think the Line6 is a good option then for a modelling amp? Any particular tube recommendations?
thanks!
#7
instead of the line 6 spider get a peavey vypyr. better sound on them
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#8
Quote by fender-lespaul
instead of the line 6 spider get a peavey vypyr. better sound on them

Never heard them. Haven't played through a peavey in years. thanks for the suggestion. i'll check 'em out. They're within budget too. Cheers!
#9
I'm still trying to work out also what wattage I need to be getting.
Was thinking of getting 75-100W Solid states/ 15-30w Tube and 200-300w bass amps.
The drum kits will all have baffles around them so it ain't gonna be crazy loud.
I'm tryig to encourage clarity over volume. nothing worse then all instruments competing for volume!
#10
So you have 8 rooms? Why not get 8 amps instead for now until you can get enough money to get more? And no offense man, but unless you already have customers lined up and waiting, I wouldn't spend too much or try to buy 8 amps at once. Buy like 2 or 3 at a time. Not everyone is going to be vying for the same room at the same times on the same day.

Here is what I would do...(depending on your location on the world)

For guitar amps, check out Laneys, B-52's, Peavey Windsor, Line 6 Flextone, Randall RG50TC and.........maybe a Valveking...Also, just as if you were buying for yourself, check the used market! You can probably find Peaveys, Bugeras, Sovteks and a whole bunch of other goodies at lower prices. Maybe buy 4 guitar amps at first, thus, upping your budget for each.

As for bass amps, I amp no specialist, but one of my bassist friends uses that Ampeg BA115, and it's pretty sweet. Maybe get like 2 of them. Or check out these new Acoustic amps. (Acoustic is the company's name, btw)

As for PAs, yea...I got nothing.

Basically what I am saying is, unless you got people bustin' down the doors to get in, don't go overboard right away. In today's economy, getting a business off the ground is not going to be easy and you don't want to invest more than you can make too soon....
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#11
No, to be honest, which I hope is what you wanted.

And I think your budget is going to be too limiting. A 15 watt tube amp won't stay clean when in a band situation, you'd have to drive it so it's breaking up.

People will probably find somewhere else they prefer (and stick with it) unless you get the some decent gear.
#12
I wrote a big long post earlier, but it seems to have vanished... But before you discount my opinion, you should know I've been working in a studio such as the one you plan on opening for some time now.

Anyway, it basically said that I suggest you start by opening 1 or 2 rooms. Get them kitted out properly, without cheaping out and buying sub standard gear. We have over 30 JCM2000/900 heads + 1960 cabs, ~10 Roland JC120's, ~10 Ampeg SVTs, 15 Ashdown Mag500s and 15 Ampeg 8x10 cabs. That wasn't all bought in one go though. It started with one room. It had 2 JCM900 half stacks, a JC120 and an Ampeg SVT rig. (+ drumkit and PA) Its taken years to build up the equipment and the rooms, doing them as the funds/size of the buildings allowed.

And keeping the volume down isn't going to work. One of the primary reasons people use studios instead of just using their garage, or basement is becasue in a studio, they can be loud. Why fight it? If you take that away, then you are going to loose a lot of business.

We still have customers who remember the original, one room, and they keep coming back week after week because we built a reputation for providing good, solid gear to use.

I would be wary of using modelling amps in this environment. While it may be great if you've got hours/days to dial in your tone and get it set just right, you just dont have that sort of time to spare in rehearsals. Time can be tight enough as it is without the band having to wait for the guitarist to learn how to use the amp! You need something that sounds good no matter what, and sounds amazing with a tiny bit of adjusting.

I'm sure my original post said more, but if I remember, I'll post it here...

edit: To give an idea on wattage: we have 2 JCM2000/900 halfstacks in each room. each is either 50W of 100W, and the bass amps are ususally at least 300W, depending on the model.
Quote by Dave_Mc
how do those marshall handles compare tonewise to, say, mesa handles?

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Last edited by AndyPandy at Jan 16, 2009,
#13
For bass combos, Ampeg is definitely not the way to go....they're ok, but you can do much better for the price. Acoustic would be good, depending on where you are. They don't sell them in Europe. You put pounds first when you listed your budget, so I'm assuming you're in the U.K. Over there, Hartke, Ashdown, Laney, Warwick, Peavey, and maybe Orange are going to be your best bets. Stay away from the Ampeg B-series, G-K Backline/Goldline, Fender Rumble, Marshall MB, and Behringer.

For the solid state amp, definitely give the Peavey Bandit 112 a look. They sound awesome. Add an extension cab and you've got a decent studio setup. If it were me, though, I'd combine the budget for A and B and get something awesome.

Instead of C, I would go for a good effects unit like the Line 6 POD XT Pro. You'll get a much better sound.
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#14
Thanks for all the replies guys!
Andypandy, wow! Thts some gear list. You make a lot of sense in what you say too.
I'm glad I asked now. It's making me re-evaluate the whole gear list.
If you remember anymore of your 'lost post' I'd be very interested to read it!

I had been considering only putting amps in 4 rooms and leaving the other 4 with just PA and kit. It may now be a wiser move. Cheers guys!
#15
i would definately pay more for tube amps

ashdown MAGs are awesome for bass too. uber reliable and will have a decent resale value
Get off this damn forum and play your damn guitar.
#16
Ashdown MAGs are great, but we had trouble getting hold of some last time we wanted them, so we got a few Aguilar amps. They sound fantastic (a seasoned SVT-II player couldn't tell the difference in a blind test), but are quite pricey. Very reliable too. Only had one go down on us in ages. (touches wood)

I'd consider opening even less rooms at first. You want people to go "wow, this is awesome" when they walk in for the first time, and every time after that too, but that isn't going to happen with a selection of sub standard stuff. Quality over quantity every time.

Also, versatility is a thing to consider. Its all very well to say "a Fender is the best amp for genre X", but the metal guitarists might not be too happy. Hence why we use the Marshalls. They've got a good combination of sound, reliability, and versatility. I'm sure more will come...

Edit: I wouldn't woory too much about resale value. chances are you're going to have this gear until it breaks down, and can't be repaired by a tech. Thats another good point actually, do you have a tech, or the skills between yourself and your employees to fix things that break. The time will come sooner or later, and its generally cheaper to do it yourself if you bulk order parts, but a friendly amp tech can be a god send.

Also, where abouts in the world are you? uk? usa?
Quote by Dave_Mc
how do those marshall handles compare tonewise to, say, mesa handles?

Owns a Blackheart Little Giant...
Last edited by AndyPandy at Jan 16, 2009,
#17
most studios seem to have mashall avts
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#18
Quote by AndyPandy

Also, where abouts in the world are you? uk? usa?


UK

Quote by hans the lefty
most studios seem to have mashall avts

Yeah, why is that? Wouldn't be the biggest fan.
#19
Quote by cmail
Yeah, why is that? Wouldn't be the biggest fan.


They have the holy grail. A name that people know and a low(ish) price. Most people will see "Marshall" and be happy, regardless of the actual tone. And they'll like it even more if you tell them its got a valve in it!

The sad truth is that studios do it to keep costs down. Or at least, they think they're keeping costs down! I wouldn't expect a SS amp to last more than a few years in that sort of environment, but we have valve amps that are 20 or more years old. Change the valves, and some other basic maintainance, and that keeps them ticking for another wee while.
Quote by Dave_Mc
how do those marshall handles compare tonewise to, say, mesa handles?

Owns a Blackheart Little Giant...